After five great years, I am leaving my position as the Farm to Market Manager at the Watershed Agricultural Council. It has been a privilege to serve our region's community of farmers, entrepreneurs, advocates and passionate eaters! This program would not be where it is today without their support. Buy local campaigns only succeed when local farmers produce delicious food and when a community demonstrates a continued interest in local food.
I am grateful for the many experiences I had during my tenure in the position and proud of the successes we've witnessed. Online content for Pure Catskills has grown to now engage with nearly 5,000 individuals monthly. The annual Guide to Farm Fresh Products has been enhanced with each year's publication. Business members and staff have collaborated on scores of promotional and educational events locally and across the state. New initiatives that support local beginning farmers, including Catskills FarmLink and Catskills CRAFT, have been launched. On a personal note, I've learned so much from the program participants and partners that it is difficult to even measure the impact.
When I came to the Catskills as a recent college graduate my closest friend or family member was over 100 miles away. Over the past eight years, that radius has decreased significantly as I've connected with a diverse, caring network of friends and colleagues. The Catskills is a beautiful region where I have been able to explore country roads, take the time to learn how to grow a straight carrot (well... almost) and taste an ever-increasing variety of farm-fresh foods.
I am leaving the position to complete my graduate studies and to work at school in support of local food research projects. My goal is to be back in upstate New York, continuing my work in agriculture, once my degree is completed.
WAC is filling this position soon; a position announcement will be posted in the coming weeks on the Watershed Agricultural Council job opportunities page. In the meantime, all inquiries should be directed to Tara Collins, Communications Director, Heather Ross, Agricultural Program Executive Assistant or call (607) 865-7090.
See you at the farmers' market,